SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
ROH TV REPORT (ep.450)
MAY 1, 2020
AIRED ON SINCLAIR SYNDICATED TV & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY RYAN SULLIVAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Host: No Host This Week
-The opening theme aired.
-The show opens with Mark Haskins sitting in a chair, solo, talking into a camera. Mark started talking about being picked on as a kid. Coincidently, one day, a friend introduced him to professional wrestling and he fell in love. Haskins then mentioned that friend who first showed him wrestling had cerebral palsy, and he felt a need to make it in the business because his friend, unfortunately, could not ever wrestle. Haskins said it was always his ultimate goal to win a world championship for his friend, but sadly, his friend died a few years ago, and never saw him fulfill that dream.
-The conversation pivoted and Haskins reminisced on moving away from home at 18 to train to become a wrestler, in a city he absolutely hated. Next, Haskins reflected on his start in Ring of Honor, and his match against Silas Young in the United Kingdom. Haskins ultimately won the match, and “that opened some eyes”. Haskins then mentioned his match in London against Jay Briscoe as the moment the door opened for him. Mark then talked about the International Cup tournament, and his wins against Jonathan Gresham, Flip Gordon, and Hangman Page to emerge victorious. Haskins felt that ROH management saw something in him.
This match occurred in London, England back in August 2018. The Code of Honor was adhered to, and the crowd was hot for this matchup. Haskins set the pace early, outwrestling Lethal on the mat into a commercial break. [c]
Back “live”, Haskins is still controlling Lethal on the mat, before Lethal delivers a cartwheel dropkick to change the momentum. Lethal begins working over Haskins’ hamstring. A minute later, Haskins hits a basement dropkick to Lethal’s left knee, and begins to focus his offense on the weakened knee. Haskins continues to work over Lethal, but Jay is able to hit a suplex on Haskins to again swing the momentum into commercial. [c]
Returning to action, Lethal hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to send Haskins outside the ring. Haskins uses the outside to change momentum and sends Lethal back in the ring, where he starts working over Lethal’s left elbow. Haskins applies a devastating crossface to Lethal mid-ring, but after nearly a moment, Lethal reaches the ropes to break the hold. Next, Lethal and Haskins deliver a double-suplex to each other, sending both tumbling outside the ring. Both are exhausted, but each is able to return to the ring before referee Todd Sinclair’s 20-count. Lethal quickly delivers a “Lethal Combination”, into another commercial break. [c]
The action returns with Lethal putting Haskins into a torture rack. Lethal then tries to hit the Lethal Injection, but Haskins counters with a nasty kick to the head. Haskins goes for his “Sharpshooter” finisher, Lethal counters, and then Haskins counters that into a “Death Valley Driver”. Soon afterwards, Haskins hits a “Canadian Destroyer”, and a top-rope double stomp, for a long 2-count on Lethal. Haskins applies a “Sharpshooter” mid-ring, but Lethal somehow gets to the ropes.
The finish occurs when Lethal hits a “Lethal Injection”, but Haskins amazingly kicks out at 2. Lethal then delivers a cutter, and another Lethal Injection for the win.
WINNER: Jay Lethal at 23:28 [c]
(Ryan’s Reaction: This match was outstanding, and even better than I remember it. The only complaint I have was the entire crowd knew Haskins was not winning the match, due to not being a permanent member of the roster. So, some of the near falls did not grasp the audience like it could have under different circumstances. Nevertheless, outstanding match and well worth watching.)
-Back from commercial, the video package from Final Battle hyping the Mark Haskins and Bully Ray feud is replayed.
-This is followed with about a three minute video montage of Haskins and Bully Ray’s match at Final Battle. Haskins eventually wins the match, and their feud.
(2) MARK HASKINS vs. ALEX SHELLEY
This match occurred back in February, at the Free Enterprise show in Baltimore. Both men received their full ring entrances and introductions, before the show goes to commercial break. (c)
The Code of Honor is adhered to, and the bell rings. The crowd is really hot for the match, with the fans nearly split 50-50 for each competitor. The match begins with a rather methodical pace, as each traded several wrist locks and counter moves. The contest moves to the mat, with more impressive counter wrestling, and the veteran Shelley eventually gains the advantage.
The action soon moves outside the ring, and Haskins delivers a “Suicide Dive”, along with his patented “Change of Direction Dive”, onto Shelley, to go on the offensive. The match moves back inside the ring, with Haskins working over Shelley’s left arm into commercial. [c]
Back “live,” Haskins is still on offense, but soon a series of counter moves by both men eventually leads to a mid-ring double clothesline, knocking both competitors to the canvas. Next, Shelley delivers a snap suplex, hurting Haskins and giving himself additional time to recover. Not long after, Haskins gathers Shelley in a soldier roll, then hits a Michanoku Driver for a long 2-count. Shelley follows this, somehow, with a “Slice Bread” into an inverted DDT on Haskins. The crowd is going crazy.
The finish happens when Shelley goes for a top-rope “Slice Bread”, but Haskins blocks the maneuver into his “Sharpshooter” finisher. Shelley will not tap out, but Haskins grabs Shelley’s injured left arm and applies an arm submission, along with the “Sharpshooter,” forcing Shelley to submit.
WINNER: Mark Haskins at 10:22
(Ryan’s Reaction: This was my favorite match at Free Enterprise, as I thought it told a terrific story of two outstanding wrestlers trying to outsmart and outmaneuver their worthy opponent. I have watched this match now three times, and I would happily do so again… Bravo guys!)
-After the match, Haskins is shown celebrating his victory in the ring, and the crowd is showering him in streamers.
-Finally, a brief video package is shown, highlighting many of Haskins top moments in Ring of Honor. Haskins spoke over the video, saying you have no idea what he has gone through in his life, but his opponents will find out one thing about him, “he hits really, really hard”, as the show faded to black.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I wish this show had provided more depth to Haskins’ character, including information of his journey to Ring of Honor, and his friendship with the person with Cerebral Palsy. Furthermore, there was no mention of his wife and manager Vicky, who I think is a vital part of his act. She should have been discussed as well. I finished this show not knowing a great deal more about Haskins than I did when it began, making this a miss for me.